I know, I know. I suck. Bad blogger, bad blogger. Mea culpa and all that. Been busy, darlings. And by busy I mean so unemployed that a productive day for me now comprises solely of putting on a bra and actual, non-pajama clothes to write my Lord of the Rings fanfiction. Ha ha ha (sob).
Still, onwards and upwards, eh? And I suppose it’s not all bad. I’ve got a plan, see? I’m just going to obey my evil hairdresser and do the Secret. According to him, if I simply want a job bad enough, I will just GET ONE! Just like that! Poof, job! Can you believe it, guys? I merely haven’t wanted it enough for the past ten and half months! Who knew!
So I guess I should blog about a book, right? That’s why you’re here. Been reading a lot, but since this started as a YA book blog, and since I’ve been pimping it out as the Best YA Book Blog Ever on my resume (oh, hi, potential employers! Hire me!), I’m going to blog a YA book today: It’s Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame.
Groan. Well, in the words of King Harry, once more unto the breach, dear friends.
Wentworth Hall is home to the Darlingtons, one of Britain’s most respected aristocratic families. In the summer of 1912, though, not all is at it seems. Eighteen-year-old Maggie Darlington has just returned from an extended trip to France with her mother, and to her younger sister, sixteen-ear-old Lila, she has become an entirely different person. Cold and reserved, Maggie has little time for her sister, and seems to forgotten her other old friends as well, including Michael, the handsome groom
who looks just like Michael Fassbender. But Maggie isn’t the only one with secrets. The new French nanny, Therese, the Darlington’s arrogant houseguests, Teddy and Jessica, and even Lord and Lady Darlington – all are hiding something, while Wentworth Hall begins to crumble with the ebbing of the Darlington fortune. Will anyone manage to keep their secret for long?
I’m so sorry. But I’m pretty sure that synopsis hurt me more than it hurt you. I had to write it, after all. Shudder.
And did you notice the tag on the cover: “And you thought there were secrets at the Abbey…”
Yeah, I should have probably guessed what I was getting into.
Terrible. So so so terrible. Stereotypical, flat characters that were an insipid as they were ridiculous. Plodding plot that lacked any inspiration or urgency. Lazy writing (that was also too obviously historically inaccurate, even for a teen book). God, it was so terrible that I didn’t even care about the setting (and as you all know, I am a historical novel addict). The worst offense of all, of course, was that Wentworth Hall is a shameless rip-off of Downton Abbey, the world’s favourite TV series. Actually, that’s not the worst offense. The worst offense is that it’s a really terrible shameless rip-off of Downton Abbey. I mean, come on. I am a lady who admitted to writing Lord of the Rings fanfiction a few paragraphs ago. I have no problem with rip-offs.
As long as they are high-quality rip-offs.
To be honest, I wouldn’t even have finished this book if I hadn’t been reading it in the bathtub during one of my two-hour Unemployed Person baths. Usually I take a back-up book so as not to be held hostage by a book, but I thought Wentworth Hall would be a harmless little guilty-pleasure romp along the lines of the The Luxe, which I actually liked. How wrong I was, eh? So I had no choice but to keep hate-reading. And even though I finished it yesterday, I already forget most of what happened. Huzzah for wilful disrememberment (which is the new name of my autobiography, coming to a bookstore near you sometime in the next decade or two)!
Verdict: Do not read this thinking it will sate your ravenous Downton Abbey cravings now that season 3 is over. It will so not. In fact, you might have to re-watch season 1, which was the best one, to cleanse your brain. Then haul ass to the library and check out every BBC costume drama you get your dainty little gloved hands on. I highly recommend The Forsyte Saga.
Best line(s): “The end.” (Okay, so I don’t think that line actually appeared in the book, but you know what I mean.)
Rating: 1 out of 5 crumbling manor houses symbolizing centuries of the systemized oppression of the working class by a moneyed elite. Such pretty dresses though!
Book Cat, you’re back! Care to share your thoughts, oh furry one?
Yes. It has come to this. Today, I made a little Viking helmet for my cat and then snuck up on him while he was reading the Saga of the Volsungs so I could take a series of increasingly disturbing photos to add to my collection of disturbing cat cosplay photos. And that, dear readers, is the definition of a New Low.
Until next time!